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Prolog Nonmonotonic logic. Monotonic logic Standard logic is monotonic: once you prove something is true, it is true forever Logic isn’t a good fit to.

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Presentation on theme: "Prolog Nonmonotonic logic. Monotonic logic Standard logic is monotonic: once you prove something is true, it is true forever Logic isn’t a good fit to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prolog Nonmonotonic logic

2 Monotonic logic Standard logic is monotonic: once you prove something is true, it is true forever Logic isn’t a good fit to reality If the wallet is in the purse, and the purse in is the car, we can conclude that the wallet is in the car But what if we take the purse out of the car? 2

3 Nonmonotonic logic Prolog uses nonmonotonic logic Facts and rules can be changed at any time such facts and rules are said to be dynamic assert(...) adds a fact or rule retract(...) removes a fact or rule assert and retract are said to be extralogical predicates 3

4 Examples of assert and retract assert(man(plato)). assert((loves(chuck,X) :- female(X), rich(X))). retract(man(plato)). retract((loves(chuck,X) :- female(X), rich(X))). Notice that we use double parentheses for rules this is to avoid a minor syntax problem assert(foo :- bar, baz). How many arguments did we give to assert ? 4

5 Marking clauses as “Dynamic” Standard Prolog allows you to assert and retract clauses without any restrictions. SWI-Prolog and some others require you to mark variable clauses as “dynamic.” :- dynamic i_am_at/1, at/2, alive/0. The “ :- ” at the beginning says “do it now.” 5

6 Solving problems with dynamic If Prolog already knows a clause, and it’s static, it’s too late to mark it dynamic Prolog must see :- dynamic functor/arity before it sees any clauses of functor/arity. This includes clauses loaded in from an earlier consult You can restart SWI-Prolog, or… …you can use abolish(functor, arity) 6

7 Arithmetic The equals sign, =, means “unify.” does not unify with 4. To force arithmetic to be performed, use “ is ”: X is 2 + 2, X = 4. Comparisons =:= =/= > >= < <= also force their operands to be evaluated. + - * / mod, when evaluated, have their usual meanings. 7

8 Limitations of backtracking In Prolog, backtracking over something generally undoes it Output can’t be undone by backtracking Neither can assert and retract be undone by backtracking Perform any necessary testing before you use write, nl, assert, or retract 8

9 Modeling “real life” Real life isn’t monotonic; things change Prolog is superb for modeling change Games are often a model of real (or fantasy!) life Prolog is just about ideal for adventure games 9

10 Starting Prolog [Macintosh:~] dave% prolog % library(swi_hooks) compiled into pce_swi_hooks 0.00 sec, 3,928 bytes Welcome to SWI-Prolog (Multi-threaded, 64 bits, Version ) Copyright (c) University of Amsterdam, VU Amsterdam SWI-Prolog comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions. Please visit for details. ?- consult('C:\\_Prolog\\dragon.pl'). % C:\_Prolog\dragon.pl compiled 0.00 sec, 14,560 bytes Yes 10

11 Instructions ?- start. Enter commands using standard Prolog syntax. Available commands are: start. -- to start the game. n. s. e. w. -- to go in that direction. take(Object). -- to pick up an object. drop(Object). -- to put down an object. use(Object). -- to use an object. attack. -- to attack an enemy. look. -- to look around you again. instructions. -- to see this message again. halt. -- to end the game and quit. 11

12 Starting out start. You are in a meadow. To the north is the dark mouth of a cave; to the south is a small building. Your assignment, should you decide to accept it, is to recover the famed Bar-Abzad ruby and return it to this meadow. true. 12

13 Going south ?- s. You are in a small building. The exit is to the north. The room is devoid of furniture, and the only feature seems to be a small door to the east. There is a flashlight here. true. 13

14 Taking things, locked doors ?- take(flashlight). OK. true. ?- e. The door appears to be locked. You can't go that way. true. 14

15 Some time later... ?- use(key). The closet is no longer locked. true. Later still... ?- look. You are in a big, dark cave. The air is fetid. There is a chest here. 15

16 Essential facts Where I am at present: i_am_at(meadow). Where other things are at: at(flashlight, building). What I am holding: holding(key). Which facts may be changed: :- dynamic i_am_at/1, at/2, holding/1. 16

17 Input and output Input is unpleasant; we avoid it by giving commands (as questions) directly to Prolog take(flashlight). write(...) outputs its one argument nl ends the line (writes a newline) describe(closet) :- write('You are in an old storage closet.'), nl. 17

18 The map cave_entrancecave meadow buildingcloset N W E S 18

19 Implementing the map path(cave, w, cave_entrance). path(cave_entrance, e, cave). path(meadow, s, building). path(building, n, meadow). Could have done this instead: path(cave, w, cave_entrance). path(X, e, Y) :- path(Y, w, X). 19

20 listing listing(predicate) is a good way to examine the current state of the program ?- listing(at). at(key, cave_entrance). at(flashlight, building). at(sword, closet). true. 20

21 North, south, east, west The commands n, s, e, w all call go. n :- go(n). s :- go(s). e :- go(e). w :- go(w). 21

22 Making predicates succeed ?- go(s). false. This works, but it isn’t very user friendly. Remember: A predicate can consist of more than one clause The clauses will be tried in order So we can get the following behavior: ?- go(s). You can't go that way. true. We could further improve this with an explanation, such as, “The door is locked.”, or, “The guard demands to see your ID.” 22

23 go go(Direction) :- i_am_at(Here), path(Here, Direction, There), retract(i_am_at(Here)), assert(i_am_at(There)), look. go(_) :- write('You can''t go that way.'). 23

24 take take(X) :- i_am_at(Place), at(X, Place), retract(at(X, Place)), assert(holding(X)), write('OK.'), nl. 24

25 You can’t always take take(A) :- holding(A), write('You\'re already holding it!'), nl. take(A) :- (actually take something, as before). take(A) :- write('I don\'t see it here.'), nl. 25

26 Making things fail A predicate will fail if it doesn’t succeed You can explicitly use fail fail works like this: This often isn’t strong enough; it doesn’t force the entire predicate to fail fail call fail 26

27 cut The “cut,” written !, is a commit point It commits to the clause in which it occurs, and everything before it in that clause Using cut says: Don’t try any other clauses, and don’t backtrack past the cut ! callexit 27

28 cut-fail The cut-fail combination: !, fail means really fail It commits to this clause, then fails This means no other clauses of this predicate will be tried, so the predicate as a whole fails 28

29 A locked door path(building, e, closet) :- locked(closet), write('The door appears to be locked.'), nl, !, fail. path(building, e, closet). If the closet door isn’t locked, the first clause fails “normally,” and the second clause is used If the closet door is locked, the cut prevents the second clause from ever being reached 29

30 Dropping objects drop(A) :- holding(A), i_am_at(B), retract(holding(A)), assert(at(A, B)), write('OK.'), nl. drop(A) :- write('You aren\'t holding it!'), nl. 30

31 What else is Prolog good for? Prolog is primarily an AI (Artificial Intelligence) language It’s second only to LISP in popularity It’s more popular in Britain than in the U.S. Prolog is also a very enjoyable language in which to program (subjective opinion, obviously!) 31

32 Prolog vs. LISP Unlike LISP, Prolog provides: built-in theorem proving built in Definite Clause Grammars, good for parsing natural language If you just want to use these tools, Prolog is arguably better If you want to build your own theorem prover or parser, LISP is clearly better 32

33 The End 33


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